The morning began with the news that my favorite congressional curmudgeon is retiring.  Barney Frank has announced he will not seek re-election next year.  Such sad news, as the House of Representatives is surely a finer place with Barney’s no bullshit approach to his job.

I only had the opportunity to interview him once.  It was June of 2009, and I was hosting a late night show on Air America.  Since I was on so late, I would record some of the interviews earlier in the day.  That was the case with Congressman Frank.  But I don’t think he knew it was a radio interview.  I wanted to speak with him to discuss a pair of bills he introduced, as he had before in previous sessions, that would effectively legalize marijuana – both for medical use and for personal use. Click here to listen to that interview.

After voicing my frustration about that piece of sad news, I went on to tell about a few others – including the eviction of Occupy LA that was going on during the show – and the later revelation that it had been suspended, causing some to wonder if it was just a test run.

There is no such thing as a slow news day any more – even if it is the Monday after Thanksgiving.  Two stories caught my eye this morning, making me wonder when the economic Armageddon will happen.

First, Bloomberg reports that the Fed made $1.2 trillion in secret loans to the biggest banks in this country during the meltdown of 2008… which in the long run allowed them to make an additional $13 billion in profits.

In the meantime, one estimate gives the Eurozone 10 days to fix their massive economic woes before it crashes.  Wolfgang Munchau at the Financial Times says

I am hearing that there are exploratory talks about a compromise package comprising those three elements. If the European summit could reach a deal on December 9, its next scheduled meeting, the eurozone will survive. If not, it risks a violent collapse. Even then, there is still a risk of a long recession, possibly a depression. So even if the European Council was able to agree on such an improbably ambitious agenda, its leaders would have to continue to outdo themselves for months and years to come….
I have yet to be convinced that the European Council is capable of reaching such a substantive agreement given its past record. Of course, it will agree on something and sell it as a comprehensive package. It always does. But the halt-life of these fake packages has been getting shorter. After the last summit, the financial markets’ enthusiasm over the ludicrous idea of a leveraged EFSF evaporated after less than 48 hours.
Italy’s disastrous bond auction on Friday tells us time is running out. The eurozone has 10 days at most.

Not looking so good…

I played a couple of videos the DNC put out today – both targeting Mitt Romney.  They’re both pretty damning, and would make a great tool, if only Mittens were to get the nomination. (I don’t think he will)..

Anyway, the first is a new 30-second ad; the second a more brutal 4-minute film that just uses Mitt’s own words against him – but these are taken in context.

On the show today, I was joined by Tim Karr of to discuss SOPA, net neutrality, the ATT/T-Mobile merger, and the role of the internet and citizen journalism in the spread of the movement.  I also mentioned the amazing series of occupy portraits that Tim’s been posting to twitter.  He revealed that he began his career as a photographer for the AP and NY Times, and hopes to compile some of these amazing shots in a book, tentatively titled  This Is What Democracy Looks Like.

Every Monday, Nicole Belle joins us from her home at Crooks and Liars for a recap of the Sunday talking head shows in a segment we call “Fools on the Hill”… Today she brought us this:

The failure of the supercommittee—which is looking more and more like a eleventy dimensional chess move since the mandated cuts are now much tougher than anything Congress would do on their own—is still the Beltway media’s favorite topic of discussion, although being honest about why it failed just isn’t.

Super committee member Pat Toomey told Christiane Amanpour that the Dems on the committee just weren’t reasonable. Of course what he fails to mention is the utter intransigence on the part of the Republican Party to discuss any kind of revenue…including just letting the Bush tax cuts expire.

Fellow committee member Jon Kyl also needed people to know that Grover Norquist had no influence on him that would cause him to sabotage the super committee. Yup, and if you believe that, I gotta bridge to sell you.

Speaking of the man himself, Grover Norquist denied that his oath to never raise taxes was intended for as a loyalty oath to him, but to the American people. Guess he hasn’t heard that almost 70% of Americans actually want Congress to raise taxes.

Liz Cheney actually had the most inflammatory words on the economy, claiming that Obama was willing to let the economy fail a little more for political benefit. Pot, kettle, black.

And in time for Thanksgiving, Fareed Zakaria assures us that our problems are not an economic one, but a political one. I say that it will continue to be until we stop giving equal validity and weight to all ideas, no matter how many times they’ve been disproved.

And if we have time, Herman Cain tried to explain how TSA profiling is nothing like cops pulling someone over for driving while black.